DALLAS (AP)—Pau Gasol quickly put a bad game behind him with an aggressive start.
Damon Stoudamire added 22 points and eight assists for the Grizzlies, who’ve won six of eight and handed the Mavericks their first home loss. It was the Grizzlies’ first win in Dallas in five years.
Gasol, who had a season-low nine points in Friday night’s victory over Houston, was determined to get to the basket early and he was 5-for-8 from the floor and 6-for-7 from the free throw line in the opening quarter.
“I was upset about last night,” said Gasol, who finished one point short of matching his career high. “I didn’t play at a high level and felt I let the team down. I wanted to bounce back and be aggressive from the get-go.”
Memphis coach Mike Fratello said Gasol’s aggressive play rubbed off on his teammates.
“The energy that Pau brought tonight was evident,” Fratello said. “His teammates played off of it superbly. He brought everyone else to another level.”
The Grizzlies had lost their last nine games in Dallas. Their last road win over the Mavericks came on Nov. 8, 2000, when the franchise was based in Vancouver.
“It was a huge win for us,” Memphis forward Shane Battier said. “For some of us, this was our first win in this building. It’s great to come in here and beat one of the best home teams.”
The loss prevented Dallas’ Avery Johnson from matching the best regular-season coaching record in NBA history after 30 games. Johnson fell to 25-5 since becoming the coach near the end of last season.
Al Cervi’s 26-4 mark for the Syracuse Nationals in 1949-50 remains the best 30-game coaching start in NBA regular-season history.
“This was probably one of the worst games that we’ve had since I’ve been the head coach,” Johnson said. “They deserved to win. They were the aggressor. They looked energized, rested and enthusiastic.”
Nowitzki criticized his team’s defense against Gasol. Dallas allowed Memphis to shoot 55 percent from the field (41-for-74) and the Grizzlies outscored the Mavericks 52-36 in the paint.
“(Gasol) is a good player but he’s not that good,” Nowitzki said. “We should have had an answer for him.”
Howard hurt his right ankle with 2:35 left when he stepped on teammate Devin Harris’ foot while guarding Stoudamire under the Memphis basket. Howard had to be helped off the floor and underwent X-rays, which were negative. Howard’s status will be evaluated on Sunday.
“I knew I rolled my ankle right away,” Howard said. “I’ve never really had an ankle sprain before. When they cut the tape for the X-ray, the ankle was already swollen. We’ll see what it looks like tomorrow.”
Both teams were playing their third game in five nights, but the Grizzlies were able to maintain the momentum from Friday’s win in Memphis.
Memphis took an 87-75 lead into the final quarter.
Dallas got as close as 89-83 early in the fourth quarter, but Memphis got back-to-back 3-pointers from Eddie Jones and Stoudamire for a 95-85 edge with 6:29 left.
Memphis took control with a 29-13 first-half run, converting 11 straight field goal attempts during the stretch to grab a 44-30 lead with under eight minutes to go until halftime.
The Grizzlies were in front 60-49 at the break behind Gasol’s 19 points in Memphis’ best scoring half of the season.
Memphis G Mike Miller missed the game after sustaining a concussion and a cut over his eye early in Friday night’s game. … The Grizzlies took a 31-27 lead after the first quarter, matching their high quarter of the season and representing the most points allowed by the Mavericks in the opening quarter this season. … The Grizzlies shot 60 percent from the field in the opening half (21-for-35).